Categories
Toronto

Toronto’s subway a likely terrorist target

A focus group study by the Federal government has highlighted the common belief amongst urban Canadians that Toronto’s subway is the most likely target for terror in this country. And the inventor of pointing out the obvious rests comfortably in his or her grave.

“For many, Toronto’s size, international profile and economic and financial importance to Canada made it the most probable target, especially by participants from this city.”

I think they just forgot to mention Toronto’s cultural influence as well.

Categories
Auditing

Nortel’s revenue recognition wrinkles

Om Malik, writer at Business 2.0 and power blogger, has posted his thoughts on the Nortel announcement from a couple days ago that they would have to restate their earnings again. His reaction is one of incredulity that Nortel, “a big NYSE company,” could actually not be able to get their accounting straightened out after all this time. Let me take a stab at an explanation.

Nortel BramptonThe thing about accounting is that minor changes have trickle down effects in many related accounts and indeed many different periods. A discovery of an error in an estimate for prior years’ revenues (estimates would be required if multi-year contracted sales arrangements are used, which they most certainly would be for Nortel) would have an effect on every set of financial statements from that year forward. Because Nortel is so large, public, and has operations in many countries (and is listed on both the NYSE and the Toronto Stock Exchange), it takes the auditors a long time and a lot of work to sort through the changes and restatements and their many side effects. And it’s busy season too.

Having seen the accounting inside many businesses up close and personal, I think the average observer would be very surprised at the amount of errors and issues auditors have to clean up and/or sort through as part of their job of rendering an opinion on the fair presentation of the statements.

Categories
Toronto

Toronto’s building wi-fi network downtown

It was not too long ago that I was writing about Chicago’s plans to blanket the city in wireless internet and wondering when Toronto would follow suit. Well apparently, it won’t be long:

Mayor David Miller will join Toronto Hydro executives on Tuesday to officially announce the initiative, which will be the largest of its kind ever undertaken in Canada and could undermine commercial product offerings from Rogers Wireless, Telus Mobility and Bell Mobility.

It should be available as early as this fall in the downtown core, of which I’m sure High Park isn’t a part. I don’t really need it in this neighborhood, but having it downtown should inevitably prove convenient.

Especially if you go to Ryerson and have frequent problems connecting to their network. I know someone who does!

Categories
Profession

Immigration is key

John Ibbitson makes the argument in today’s Globe and Mail that one of the key issues the Conservatives need to address during their time running the country is immigration. No official announcement has been made yet regarding their policy on the number of immigrants per year, but unofficially it looks like the numbers will remain pretty static at about 250,000 people per year.

There isn’t another issue as important as immigration. The country is being reshaped by the hundreds of thousands of people arriving here every year. Think of it: At current levels, Canada will be absorbing a million new Canadians every four years. That’s the equivalent of a city larger than Ottawa, Calgary or Edmonton. Each decade, we will be importing the equivalent of the city of Toronto.

As an accountant I can attest to the fact that we are in high demand and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario has created an Occupational Career Path for use by immigrants who hope to become Chartered Accountants and fill the need for public accountants in Canada. Doctors are another profession in high demand and there needs to be progress towards getting foreign-trained health professionals working in Canadian hospitals.

Categories
Toronto

Chicago to build 600km² Wi-Fi network

Chicago plans to build a huge wi-fi network, following in the path of other US cities like Philadelphia and San Francisco. The purpose is to offer “broad and affordable” access and heighten Chicago’s appeal for businesses and tourists.

It would be great if they put something like this in Toronto because then I could take my laptop everywhere and be assured access. Funding for this type of thing could come from Federal, provincial and municipal sources if the idea were to get off the ground.

Update: In August 2006, BusinessWeek highlighted the Top 10 Municipal Wi-Fi Plans. Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco make the list.

Here’s a ranking of US cities by public wi-fi hotspots as of June 2009. Chicago ranks 3rd after New York and San Francisco.

Microsoft even has a list of the top US cities for wi-fi access, although Chicago is not listed.